Lee Zeldin Didn’t Win, But He Made It Close

A win is a win, and Gov. Kathy Hochul deserves New Yorkers‘ support as she prepares to begin her first full term in office. But carefully examine the outcomes for New York City. Lee Zeldin, the GOP candidate, performed remarkably well despite his MAGA baggage. Hochul should learn from this and pay attention to what moderate swing voters told her about crime reduction and job creation on Tuesday night.

Zeldin came quite close to achieving what a Republican state candidate needed to achieve to win statewide – garnering 35% of the local vote — with 97% of the votes counted. Few people had previously believed that Zeldin could pull off such an accomplishment.

Zeldin received 514,175 votes in Gotham, or 30% of the vote, whereas Hochul received 70%. (1,180,993 votes). No one would contest the fact that Hochul easily won New York Metropolis, as is customary in a city where there are 7 to 1 more Democrats than Republicans among registered voters.

Zeldin received 30% of the vote, which was double what the Republican candidate received four years prior. Marc Molinaro, the GOP candidate in 2018, received only 318,000 votes, or 15% of the city’s vote.

In this election, Zeldin received 62% more votes overall than his opponent. Zeldin also doubled the vote share in a campaign with lower voter turnout.

Zeldin performed admirably, both in the Bronx and in Manhattan. In both boroughs four years ago, Molinaro only received 8% and 10% of the votes, respectively. Zeldin received 22% and 18% of the vote in this year.

It’s a significant deal for a Republican to garner close to 25% of the Bronx vote. Of course, it’s not a big enough deal. Zeldin will have a latte this morning for that and $6. New York is a one-party state because of New York City, but even the Democratic city has its limits, as Zeldin demonstrated.

In the entire state, Hochul defeated Zeldin by a margin of 53% to 47%. Zeldin would have reduced Hochul’s victory to 51%, which is much too close to call if he had garnered an additional 5% of the city’s votes.

Such a Republican victory in New York City would likely be bad news for the Democratic candidate throughout the rest of the state as well. Long Island, which Cuomo won four years ago, was comfortably won by Zeldin this year.


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